UK Prime Minister David Cameron has proposed a ban on social media use by those suspected of plotting some sort of "violence, disorder, and criminality."
The Prime Minister is the latest to add his voice to the growing sentiment that digital communications caused the violence that has plagued his country after the shooting of Mark Duggan, a 29-year-old man, on August 4th in the North London district of Tottenham.
As Cameron notes, the killing -- at the hands of police officers in uncertain circumstances -- initially led to peaceful protests, but ultimately to an unprecedented wave of looting, vandalism, and other criminal acts for several nights afterward.
"Mr Speaker, everyone watching these horrific actions will be stuck by how they were organised via social media. Free flow of information can be used for good," the Prime Minister said to the hastily recalled Parliament on Thursday, "But it can also be used for ill. And when people are using social media for violence we need to stop them."
"So we are working with the Police, the intelligence services and industry to look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality," Cameron said, adding, "I have also asked the police if they need any other new powers."
Cameron made it clear that "we will do whatever it takes to restore law and order" and later expressed his disdain for "phoney human rights concerns".
In the days since the rioting began, both media and public officials have expressed a seemingly technophobic response that led to the widespread characterization of the unrest in Britain as "BlackBerry Riots". This comes as a sort of dark mirror of the way in which social media and wireless communications were praised in their contributions to the "Arab Spring" popular uprisings earlier in the year.
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